Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysian philanthropists’ generous support for Muslims in rural Cambodia

Malaysian philanthropists’ generous support for Muslims in rural Cambodia

Cambodian-Muslims enjoy a feast in Kandal.
Cambodian-Muslims enjoy a feast in Kandal.

Malaysian philanthropists’ generous support for Muslims in rural Cambodia

Rom Chek commune of Kampong Cham province’s Memot district is home to many Cambodian-Muslim farmers. A major concern for many of the parents in this and other remote, rural areas like it is a lack of proper schooling for their children. However, their plight has been noticed and help has been forthcoming. Ashary Saleh, the president of Cambodian Muslim Cooperatives, said that after seeing the difficulties of Cambodian Muslims in rural areas, he decided, in the noble tradition of charitable works throughout Islamic history, in early 2009 to set up a humanitarian association to seek support from philanthropists across the country and overseas to support Cambodian Muslims who are faced with problems, especially in securing a positive future for their children.

Since its founding, the association has worked with organisations and charitable people in Malaysia, and regularly visits the villages of the people they have helped, such as those in Russey Chroy commune, Mok Kampol district in Kandal province, Snuol district in Kratie province, and Rom Chek commune, Memot district, in Kampong Cham province. During these visits, gifts, such as food and medication, are brought for poor Cambodian Muslims in these areas.

“Charitable Malaysians supported the building of three primary schools and five mosques through my association,” Ashary said, “The first school in Rom Chek commune has one building with eight rooms; the second, in Trapaing Romeas commune, is a single building school with six rooms; and there is a third in Russey Chroy commune.”

“In addition to schools and mosques,” he added, “these charitable people support the teachers in the schools as well.” The schools’ curriculum follows the government program, and the students include both Khmer and Cambodian Muslim children.

The Cambodian Muslim Cooperatives was founded to meet the increasingly urgent needs of the poor, especially in rural areas of Cambodia where poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, disease, famine and other difficult situations are faced.

The donations of Malaysian people include food for the Ramadan festival for Cambodian Muslims in hundreds of communities every year. After Ramadan, there is the Hajj festival in the 12th month of the Muslim calendar (usually in October or November), during which food is given in celebration of this important Islamic occasion.

“Every year, we receive support from Malaysians to buy 200 to 300 kilograms of beef to share with Muslims during the Hajj festival for three or four days,” he said. “The help we receive goes directly to Cambodian Muslims.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,